Effect of tobacco smoking on semen quality in men with subfertility - Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Smoking is considered a risk factor for male infertility, but studies have not shown a conclusive reduction in fertility associated with paternal smoking. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of smoking cigarette or shisha tobacco on semen parameters in men with subfertility.

METHODS: This was a prospective study of 100 patients with subfertility. There were 50 smokers with mean (SD) age of 37.1 (8.3) years and 50 nonsmokers with a mean age of 39.5 (9.0) years. The outcome measures were sperm abnormal forms (%), sperm count (M/mL), semen volume (mL), sperm motility (%), duration of infertility, and type, amount, and duration of smoking. Group differences (smoker vs nonsmoker and cigarette vs shisha) in semen volume and sperm parameters were analyzed with t tests. Pearson correlations were calculated to determine the association between smoking index and smoking duration and the semen parameters.

RESULTS: When compared with nonsmokers, the smokers had a significantly higher mean percentage of abnormal sperm forms (92.3 % vs 89.4%) (P < .01), a significantly lower mean sperm count (20.6 M/mL vs 44.9 M/mL), a significantly lower mean semen volume (2.01 mL vs 2.52 mL), and a significantly lower mean percentage of sperm motility (25.7 vs 37.9) (all with P < .01). There were no statistically significant differences in semen parameters between men smoking cigarettes or shisha. There were statistically significant negative correlations between smoking index and the percentage of sperm motility(r = -0.38; P = .006) and between smoking duration and the percentage of sperm motility(r = -0.32; P = .026). There was also a marginally significant positive correlation between smoking index and the percentage of abnormal sperm forms(r =0.28; P = .046). Correlations with other semen parameters were not significant.

CONCLUSION: Results showed significant deleterious effects of tobacco smoking on semen parameters. The correlation analysis placed special emphasis on the negative impact of smoking on sperm motility. Evidence from this and other studies seems sufficient to recommend that male smokers with subfertility should stop smoking to prevent detrimental effects on semen quality.

Alaa Hussein, Ayman AlGadaa, Mohamed ElFaras, Medhat ElFiky

Submitted: November 10, 2010

Accepted for Publication: December 14, 2010

KEYWORDS: Smoking; Subfertily; Semen quality.

CORRESPONDENCE: Dr. Alaa Hussein, King Fahd Specialized Hospital, IVF Center, PO Box 2290, Buridah, Qassium Region, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia ( ).

CITATION: Urotoday Int J. 2011 Feb;4(1):art11.

doi: 10.3834/uij.1944-5784.2011.02.11